The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, January 24, 2020

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

Republicans- 3, Dems- 0 on NLRB

National Labor Relations Board Member Lauren McFerran’s term expired on Dec. 16, leaving what is supposed to be a worker watchdog agency without a Democratic appointee. Three Republican-appointed NLRB members are setting policy for the agency, with the other two positions left unfilled by President Trump.

Tradition and precedent - but not federal law - dictates that President Trump fill the empty pair of positions with Democrats, but he has refused to do so. Here is the reaction from AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka.

"The NLRB is an independent federal agency with a clear mission to uphold and protect workers' right to form unions and bargain collectively. Lauren McFerran, widely respected across the political spectrum for her intellect and fidelity to the law, carried out that mission with conscience and conviction. Unfortunately, her departure further depletes the Board and leaves it without a single worker-friendly voice.

"The three remaining members of the Board—two former management-side lawyers and a former Republican congressional staffer—are corporate ideologues bent on perverting the NLRB's long-established mandate and the law it enforces.

"The Board’s Republican majority has engaged in a flurry of actions in recent days—all designed to make it harder to form a union and have a voice at work, including a comprehensive rewrite of the rules governing representation election that was issued without giving any notice to the public or opportunity for the labor or management communities to comment. This may sound like inside baseball, but it's a big deal.

"With more than 60 million workers who would vote to join a union today, we need an NLRB that carries out its mandate to ensure our voices are heard. That starts with a fully staffed Board through the nomination and confirmation of two Democratic members, and a return to its core mission of protecting the rights of working people."

Census Bureau looking for workers

Uncle Sam is looking for a few good men and women to work for the 2020 Census.

"The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting to fill hundreds of thousands of temporary positions across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count," says the Census Bureau's website. For more information, go to or do a Google search "Census 2020." 

The "Pay and Locations" tab on the opening page allows you to check out the pay scales for census jobs according to county in Michigan and other states. A random search of the website showing pay in various Michigan counties found census jobs in Bay County ($18 per hour), Calhoun ($20.50), Cheyboygan ($14), Genesee ($18), Ingham (up to $24.50), Kent ($20), Marquette ($21), and Wayne (up to $24.50 per hour).

Michigan's minimum wage is $9.45 per hour, so the pay on these jobs is a significant upgrade.

"Help your community while getting paid," the Census Bureau said. "Jobs for the 2020 Census include both field and office positions throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. A single application allows you to be considered for several positions, including census taker, recruiting assistant, office clerk, and supervisory staff."